7 Best Wines to Pair with Takeout Dishes and Fast Food (Video)

It’s easy to pair a gourmet meal with wine, but what about our favourite take-out dishes? Here to help us with her tips and sips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.


Welcome Natalie.

Natalie: Great to be here with you!


We’re starting with fried chicken – got a wine for that?

Yes, and it’s not what you’d expect! I’m going to get you to drink outside the box (or bucket) with this one. When you dig into deep-fried chicken or fish, you perceive the taste of fat as sweet, so you don’t need more sugar in your wine.


A dry, crisp sparkling wine is a beautiful thing. You have a pair of Proseccos, Italian sparkling wine, named Romeo and Juliet. You’re all set for date night. Apart from whatever other goals you may have for date night, the pairing goal is to cut through the fat and refresh your palate with every sip. There’s nothing like a swarm of bubbles to get you ready for that next bite.





Colli Vicentini Romeo Prosecco
Veneto D.O.C., Italy











Colli Vicentini Juliet Prosecco Rosé
Veneto D.O.C., Italy





These are great! How about that classic take-out fave, pizza?

For pepperoni or meat pizza, try a juicy, full-bodied red wine that can muscle in beside your slice, such as a Californian Cabernet or an Australian Shiraz.




The peppery and spicy notes in these wines are a bonus, complementing the flavours of the meat.






Tribute Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma, California, United States





Would you also pair these wines with gourmet meals, like say a grilled steak or prime rib?

Yes, exactly! The pairing guidelines don’t change between fancy pants meals and take-out. You’re still looking to match the texture, weight and flavour of what’s in your glass with what’s on the plate. I love doing high-low, shabby chic pairings with a great take-out meal and a pricier bottle of wine. It’s like putting rhinestones on jeans.




Next up we have poutine. Is there a wine that can actually work with this?

Yes, no need to cry in your beer. Poutine has it all: fried food, gravy and melting cheese.



The sparkling wine would work, but also try a zesty New Zealand sauvignon blanc. This lemon-lime fresh wine doesn’t have any buttery oak notes, and instead delivers pure refreshment as it cuts through the fat in this dish.





Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, New Zealand









Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, New Zealand





With pairings we’re either going to contrast, in this case, a rich dish with a lean, zesty wine, or we’re going to complement, so with the poutine, you could also try a full-bodied buttery chardonnay, and layer rich and rich, sort like wearing pearls and a diamond necklace at the same time. What won’t work is a really light, wimpy wine that’ll get smothered by the poutine.


You’ve even suggested donuts for dessert to finish. What’s the wine?

While a pure chocolate dessert would overwhelm icewine, a donut with a chocolate glaze or fruit filling is a perfect complement in terms of both flavours and weight.



Canadian icewine, made from shriveled grapes that lose their moisture because they’re left on the vine well past the fall harvest, are picked in the chill of January, and offer lovely flavours of honey and apricot preserves.





Riverview Cellars Vidal Icewine
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada









Riverview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada










Riverview Cellars Riesling Icewine 2019
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada




Perfect for honey crullers too. The rule of thumb is that the wine should be sweeter than the dessert, otherwise it’ll taste bitter by comparison.

The bonus is that Icewine is low in alcohol, only about 10% versus say port, a fortified wine, at 20%. So you won’t fall asleep on the sofa at 7 pm, especially if it’s date night. That wouldn’t end well.


You teach wine and food pairing classes online. How does that work and what’s the weirdest wine and food pairing you’ve ever had, Natalie?


Thank you Natalie! You can find all of these wines on Natalie’s website at nataliemaclean.com.





Posted with permission from CityTV.





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